After Labour leader Keir Starmer put the perfectly reasonable question to the Government as to its strategy for exiting from the lockdown imposed to combat transmission of, and infection with, Covid-19, it soon became clear not only that there was no exit strategy, but, worse, that many senior Government figures did not know what an exit strategy was.
The question then followed as to whether the Tories knew what they were doing. And it seems that there is a strong possibility that they do not. For this revelation we have to thank MP for Mid Bedfordshire (yes, it’s her
again) Nadine Dorries, who has undertaken one of those evening Twitter excursions she might have been best advised avoiding.
She declared “Journalists should stop asking about an ‘exit strategy.’ There is only one way we can ‘exit’ full lockdown and that is when we have a vaccine. Until then, we need to find ways we can adapt society and strike a balance between the health of the nation and our economy
”. Journalists can ask what they want, whether Ms Dorries likes it or not.
They can also question her verdict, and former Screws
and Daily Mirror
editor Piers Morgan, now co-hosting ITV breakfast offering Good Morning Britain
, did just that. “Health minister says UK will be in ‘full lockdown’ until there is COVID-19 vaccine - which experts say will be at least 18 months. Astonishing break from other Govt statements
Ms Dorries was incandescent. “No I haven’t Piers! What a ridiculous interpretation. I said society needs to adapt. It would be more helpful to talk about ‘relaxing lockdown’ than constantly demanding an ‘exit strategy.’ My point being, some of you guys need to start asking more intelligent questions
”. “Intelligent questions?
” Pot, meet kettle.
Phillipa Rees countered “How about your ‘government’ giving intelligent answers to our questions?
” In the meantime, while Morgan was off duty today, his co-host Susanna Reid got Matt Hancock on the line and asked, not unreasonably, if he agreed with his junior minister. After Hancock’s Half Hearted had driven it round the houses a few times, we were none the wiser. But later on, there was the inevitable “clarification
” from Ms Dorries.
As ITV reported
, “She later added ‘there is more than one lockdown’. That could be ‘full, or the introduction of a relaxation/easement strategy - eventually (leading) to a full exit’
”. So it could mean a lockdown, or alternatively, it could mean another lockdown, different from the first lockdown. And there could be a strategy. Even though she previously dismissed that.
Meanwhile, Prof Neil Ferguson (who is advising the Government) has said there needs to be a lockdown exit strategy in place, and “There now needs to be a single-minded emphasis on scaling up testing and contact tracing
”. But the Observer’s
Carole Cadwalladr, looking at proposals for an NHS tracing app, concluded “All this stuff about magic apps is just the stuff of fairies & unicorns until we have mass testing. The government has no plan for mass testing
”. In other words, it’s not happening. Yet.
That is because people like Nadine Dorries do not yet appear to have figured out what an exit strategy is, far less what one should look like. She doesn’t have a Scooby Doo.
Which suggests the Government doesn’t, either. Be afraid, everyone. Be very afraid
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Dear Zelo ,
It’s really difficult to take seriously the reality of ‘departmental discussions’ or even conversations between such as Matt Hancock & Nadine Dorries , their responses to questions (other than hagiography) seems to show they don’t even understand any of the issues , even though all of us in quarantine and looking at the internet are very well versed . There are Youtube videos showing how and why Taiwan (24m , 0.5 size of England) , S Korea and Germany are controlling the spread so much better than the UK and are seriously planning their ‘exit strategies’ , with milestone dates and no doubt ‘Plan Bs’s , why is so much of the UK Administration so inept ?
Its an inverted'logans run'.
The main point about Nastzis like Dorries and Hancock is not that they are incompetent and stupid.
It is that they are profoundly and wilfully morally corrupt.
In the case of the tory party this is irreversible.
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